Saving our seas

Art June 09, 2016 01:00

By KUPLUTHAI PUNGKANON
THE NATIO

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La Mer celebrates World Oceans Day with a beach and sea cleaning exercise on the Chon Buri Coast



Located less than an hour from Bangkok, Bang Saen and Wonnapa beaches in Chonburi Province have long been popular weekend destinations for the urban crowd. Sadly, they have suffered from their popularity with visitors regularly using them as garbage dumps rather than respecting their natural beauty. Indeed, members of a recent media trip organised by skincare leaders La Mer to Wonnapa beach were horrified to witness the extent of trash littering the beach and the nasty odour given off by rotting food, paper and plastic. 
The visit was organised as part of “La Mer’s Blue Heart” project to mark World Oceans Day 2016. La Mer staff and journalists joined up with guests Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat, Puri Hiranprueck, Byron and Cindy Bishop, Disaya Koragotchamas, Isawan Sutthinark, Sirachai Arunrugstichai for a massive beach-cleaning session before boarding a Sri Racha Marine Fisheries Research Station’s research vessel to explore the condition of the sea. 
The boat took its passengers to the area around Koh Loy and here too they were dismayed at the amount of garbage floating through the water and lying on the seabed. 
Tons of water bottles and plastic bags were collected during the trip but despite this effort they will continue to damage our coral reefs and cause the death of several marine animals, especially rare ones close to extinction.
Garbage is not a national-level problem, but an international one, as it affects the ecosystem and the environment as a whole. It is not too late for us to stop damaging activities and realise the importance of the ocean for every life on the planet.
“Several islands in Thailand have been closed down for restoration. It is now time for us to help. First, we have to help spread the message because it is easier to prevent damage than to restore. What we can do is to keep what we have today and minimise the damage. Thailand ranks among the top five countries with the largest amount of plastic garbage per head,” said conservationist and marine expert Dr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat.”
Free diver Disaya Koragotchamas added: “I love the sea, and diving is an activity that brings me closer to the beauty under the sea. We must conserve and give back to the oceans, which provide us with so much joy.”
Byron Bishop is a keen diver and says he’s saddened by the degradation of coral and other sea creatures he witnesses during his dives. “This is our world,” he stresses, “and if we all help, we can make a big difference.”
On a global scale, La Mer is continuing its partnership with National Geographic Society for the fifth consecutive year to help support the next generation of ocean explorers. Through this partnership, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr Sylvia Earle shares her ocean inspiration and expertise through a short film, which can be viewed shortly at Facebook: La Mer Thailand, Instagram @LaMerThailandOfficial and at www.LaMer.co.th/blueheart. 
Joining this project are marine conservationists Philippe and Ashlan Cousteau, free diver Tomoka Fukuda, and model and actress Elsa Pataky. 
La Mer invites consumers to share their own personal story of the sea through the #LaMerBlueHeart campaign on Instagram. Lucky winners from Thailand can win tickets from Bangkok Airways to explore the seas in Maldives, Phuket and Krabi. To qualify, post a picture at #LaMerBlueHeart and #MyOceanStory. 
For more information, visit Facebook: La Mer Thailand.
 
- In celebration of La Mer’s Blue Heart and World Oceans Day this year, a 100ml jar of Creme de La Mer with a new limited-edition sea-inspired design is available at all La Mer counters through the end of June for Bt18,600.